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Tomaz Drnovsek

P3D v4 worth the investment in my case?

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I know, this question is almost as popular as "Why do I get stutters?". But I'm desperate here, I seriously don't know what to do. I was absent from simming for more than a year and now I'm eager to come back. I own P3D v3 Professional and tons of payware addons. My rig is i7 4790k@4.5GHz, GTX970, 8GB RAM. I plan to buy new machine next year - fingers crossed, Nvidia releases new graphics card by than - so I don't plan on buying more RAM or new graphics card right now. I made a rough calculation and P3D v4 and all the addons upgrades would cost me around 410€. Not to mention that about 1/3 of addons I have is still not compatible with v4. So, with my current hardware and software upgrade costs, is it worth it to upgrade to v4? What would I gain over v3 in my current case? On the top of the list of things that I really don't want is worst performance. On the top of the list of things that I really do want is better performance. I'd switch for that but I'm afraid that with my hardware that would not be the case. So, would I be better of waiting for new machine and P3D v5 (also probably next year, if they stick to the pattern) or are there reasons for me to switch now? Also, I don't get OOMs in v3. Thanks!

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As long as you are not struck bei "out-of-memory" problems i would wait with updating P3D until your new rig is here. Of course you may cut off by some Addons working only in v4, but theres always shadow where is light 😉

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Tomaz,

Why do you feel the need for a new computer? You have an i4790K running at 4.5GHz. A newer processor isn’t going to make your FPS substantially better.

Going to v4 has one benefit over v3. Unlimited VAS. But if you increase complexity it won’t affect VAS but it will lower FPS. It’s a balancing act. Are you running out of VAS now?

You stand to lose far more than you will gain. Look at all that scenery you don’t have for v4. Then you have to buy 64-bit wx program.

Personally I’d stick with v3 and bide your time until v5 comes out by which time the new Nvidia cards will available. You could also think about running at UHD rather than FullHD.

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1 hour ago, 0Artur0 said:

I made a rough calculation and P3D v4 and all the addons upgrades would cost me around 410€. 

So in a year or so when you get round to buying a new PC, will that figure be more or less (ie - are you planning to stop buying any further addons for v3?).

I can't stand here and say 'you will DEFINITELY get better performance in v4" -- only a fool would do so as like all versions of FS it is very dependent on each individual system and your own expectations. I personally get what I consider to be perfectly adequate, fluid performance in v4 on a positively ancient system (i5-760 @ 3.8GHz, 4GB RAM, GTX 570) - although the frame rate is low if you look at the counter the experience is far more fluid and less stuttery than FSX or P3D v3 ever were. Obviously that requires some sensible (but far from zero!) graphics settings but not faffing in the cfg file or anything like that. Not everybody will have the same experience and I know some people who spend their lives glued to the framerate counter and expect it to stay pegged above 60 or they're not interested. They are inevitably permanently disappointed. 

Regarding the cost of upgrading -- my approach has always been that a new version of the sim is essentially a fresh start. Why go out and re-buy everything on day one? You can only fly one aircraft at a time and to one airport at a time. Ever since FS98 all I've ever done on day one is buy the 'essentials' -- for me, a compatible version of Activesky, FSUIPC, probably one high-quality add on aircraft to start with. I'm not a big payware scenery purchaser but I bought the update for UK2000 Heathrow as that's my main base (and held off the rest until I actually wanted to fly there!). A few things had free v4 upgrades so they went in as and when required, and I've then just gradually added ever since, exactly as I did with v3, FSX, FS9 etc.

The other advantage of this is that you keep your sim a little cleaner rather than immediately loading it up with hundreds of addons!

So why v4? Apart from the continued optimisations, new features, 64-bit etc - addon developers are increasingly dropping or significantly scaling back effort toward 32-bit sims, so you will increasingly start to miss out on new products. Plus, whilst you may be able to upgrade some products from v3 to v4 for free or a small fee, there's no guarantee the same offers will be available from v3 to v5.

Nobody knows what v5 will look like or what it will break etc. If you are waiting until all your v3 addons etc are available for v4/v5, you'll still be waiting when v7 comes out.

Plus, unless you're really pushed for hard drive space - who says you need to expunge every last vestige of v3 from your PC for good the day you install v4? I, and many others, ran v3 in parallel for a long time so you can continue to enjoy the addons you bought that aren't v4 compatible.

In short: as a general rule, the longer you wait to upgrade the more expensive and difficult it becomes because you end up getting more and more tied in to the old system. Yes, some stuff will have to be left behind - but there is much more that will take its place.

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33 minutes ago, JoeFackel said:

Of course you may cut off by some Addons working only in v4, but theres always shadow where is light 😉

Are there any "mainstream" addons that work only in v4?

7 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Tomaz,

Why do you feel the need for a new computer? You have an i4790K running at 4.5GHz. A newer processor isn’t going to make your FPS substantially better.

Going to v4 has one benefit over v3. Unlimited VAS. But if you increase complexity it won’t affect VAS but it will lower FPS. It’s a balancing act. Are you running out of VAS now?

You stand to lose far more than you will gain. Look at all that scenery you don’t have for v4. Then you have to buy 64-bit wx program.

Personally I’d stick with v3 and bide your time until v5 comes out by which time the new Nvidia cards will available. You could also think about running at UHD rather than FullHD.

Regarding new computer. 4790k@4.5 in OK, but that's as high I can get these days on the OC, reading AVSIM in got the impression that newer processors can get to 5GHz which would be beneficial of course 🙂 Than there's graphics card and of course I need more RAM for v4, I was told that 8GB is on the lower end.

VAS and OOMs were never really a problem for me in v3. I experienced it maybe twice. So, a non-issue.

For wx I'm using AS2016. On their page it says I can use the same serial for ASP4, so that's not among the upgrade costs.

Right now I'm more in favor of staying with v3.

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7 minutes ago, skelsey said:

So in a year or so when you get round to buying a new PC, will that figure be more or less (ie - are you planning to stop buying any further addons for v3?).

I can't stand here and say 'you will DEFINITELY get better performance in v4" -- only a fool would do so as like all versions of FS it is very dependent on each individual system and your own expectations. I personally get what I consider to be perfectly adequate, fluid performance in v4 on a positively ancient system (i5-760 @ 3.8GHz, 4GB RAM, GTX 570) - although the frame rate is low if you look at the counter the experience is far more fluid and less stuttery than FSX or P3D v3 ever were. Obviously that requires some sensible (but far from zero!) graphics settings but not faffing in the cfg file or anything like that. Not everybody will have the same experience and I know some people who spend their lives glued to the framerate counter and expect it to stay pegged above 60 or they're not interested. They are inevitably permanently disappointed. 

Regarding the cost of upgrading -- my approach has always been that a new version of the sim is essentially a fresh start. Why go out and re-buy everything on day one? You can only fly one aircraft at a time and to one airport at a time. Ever since FS98 all I've ever done on day one is buy the 'essentials' -- for me, a compatible version of Activesky, FSUIPC, probably one high-quality add on aircraft to start with. I'm not a big payware scenery purchaser but I bought the update for UK2000 Heathrow as that's my main base (and held off the rest until I actually wanted to fly there!). A few things had free v4 upgrades so they went in as and when required, and I've then just gradually added ever since, exactly as I did with v3, FSX, FS9 etc.

The other advantage of this is that you keep your sim a little cleaner rather than immediately loading it up with hundreds of addons!

So why v4? Apart from the continued optimisations, new features, 64-bit etc - addon developers are increasingly dropping or significantly scaling back effort toward 32-bit sims, so you will increasingly start to miss out on new products. Plus, whilst you may be able to upgrade some products from v3 to v4 for free or a small fee, there's no guarantee the same offers will be available from v3 to v5.

Nobody knows what v5 will look like or what it will break etc. If you are waiting until all your v3 addons etc are available for v4/v5, you'll still be waiting when v7 comes out.

Plus, unless you're really pushed for hard drive space - who says you need to expunge every last vestige of v3 from your PC for good the day you install v4? I, and many others, ran v3 in parallel for a long time so you can continue to enjoy the addons you bought that aren't v4 compatible.

In short: as a general rule, the longer you wait to upgrade the more expensive and difficult it becomes because you end up getting more and more tied in to the old system. Yes, some stuff will have to be left behind - but there is much more that will take its place.

You raised some interesting points here.

The one I actually thought about a lot and would be one of major reasons to switch to v4 is about upgrading addons. Would I get the same discounts for addons if I'd upgrade from v3 to v5? Nobody knows of course. Also this 410€ cost right now is definitely going to be higher over time because more and more addons will be available in v4 that will have some upgrade price attached.

But again, 410€ for essentially less content is not negligible. If also the performance would be worse - I've seen some Youtube videos comparing the v3 and v4 performance and with graphics card like mine it was much worse, although I know YT is not a good reference - than despite your good points I'm still not sure switching would be a smart decision right now.

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@0Artur0 The all new Captain Sim 757 is P3Dv4 only. The all new Aerosoft Airbus Professional range is P3Dv4 only too but potentially could be ported to FSX in future if demand exists.

It would seem for you there is not much point in moving to P3Dv4x64, given you are happy with it. P3Dv4 may run a little better for you, and the extra VAS space may allow you turn the detail up in the sim but that will be at the cost of framerate. Your processor is not an issue, you will find the GTX970 the bottleneck in P3Dv4.

@Ray Proudfoot You don't need to buy a weather engine, the free FSXWX works fine with my P3Dv4 and doesn't have a myriad of options you need to go through. Also doesn't upset any of my payware aircraft's autopilots.

Edited by ckyliu

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2 hours ago, 0Artur0 said:

My rig is i7 4790k@4.5GHz, GTX970, 8GB RAM

Hi Tomaz 

As the rest have posted your computer is fine to get Prepar3D v4 up and running with Add Ons.  The more Add Ons you Introduce you will obviously need to adjust your settings via Prepar3D > Options.

Lockheed Martin does offer a 60 day money back guarantee in there Refund Policy

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Just now, ckyliu said:

@0Artur0 The all new Captain Sim 757 is P3Dv4 only. The all new Aerosoft Airbus Professional range is P3Dv4 only too but potentially could be ported to FSX in future if demand exists.

I can live without Captain Sim 757. I already have all the Aerosoft Airbuses for v3 and I doubt the Professional series is that much different.. may be wrong of course. Not to mention FS2Crew that I don't think is available for Airbus in v4.

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The Professional series is about 80% recoded from the previous AS buses. FS2Crew is being worked on for it, but there is an intelligent first officer included anyway.

I have an i5 2500k@4.5 GHz, GTX980 and 16 GB RAM, so my spec is not a million miles away from yours and P3Dv4 runs nicely for me (you can see my settings and framerates in my Avsim user profile, about me section). Although I'm not running many addons, I went straight from FSX to P3Dv4.1 (now running 4.3) and my FSX was suffering from occasional OOM.

Oh you get dynamic lighting in v4 although on our specs it can be a struggle to use it at addon airports.

Edited by ckyliu
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12 minutes ago, 0Artur0 said:

Is there anybody with i7 4790k @ 4.5GHZ, GTX970 and 8GB of RAM that switched from v3 to v4?

The only reason I moved to v4 is to avoid the OOM problems with PMDG aircraft and dense scenery/weather. The eye-candy is a bit better in v4 due to lighting and shadow differences and v4 seems to be a bit smoother overall but not enough to warrant the extra cost(s). Were it I, I'd stick with v3 since OOM's aren't an issue and see what the new year brings.................Doug

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1 hour ago, ckyliu said:

The Professional series is about 80% recoded from the previous AS buses. FS2Crew is being worked on for it, but there is an intelligent first officer included anyway.

I have an i5 2500k@4.5 GHz, GTX980 and 16 GB RAM, so my spec is not a million miles away from yours and P3Dv4 runs nicely for me (you can see my settings and framerates in my Avsim user profile, about me section). Although I'm not running many addons, I went straight from FSX to P3Dv4.1 (now running 4.3) and my FSX was suffering from occasional OOM.

Oh you get dynamic lighting in v4 although on our specs it can be a struggle to use it at addon airports.

Based on your specs and performance described in your about me section I'm not worried anymore about performance.

One question about dynamic lighting.. if I turn it off, do I than get the same lighting as in v3? Do addons like FSFX Immersion packages and other that effect lighting work as in v3 with it turned off or do some require dynamic lighting to be turned on? Because with GTX970 I don't think I can use dynamic lighting - and I do fly almost exclusively on addon airports with addon aircraft using ORBX stuff with Active Sky and all those thing.. and also TrackIR so FPS in low 20s are not really an option because head movements become to "stuttery" and no joy to fly.

Oh, man, I'm even more confused that I was before. Now, I'm seriously considering switching 🙂 Oh, my...

Edited by 0Artur0

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35 minutes ago, 0Artur0 said:

Regarding new computer. 4790k@4.5 in OK, but that's as high I can get these days on the OC, reading AVSIM in got the impression that newer processors can get to 5GHz which would be beneficial of course 🙂 Than there's graphics card and of course I need more RAM for v4, I was told that 8GB is on the lower end.

VAS and OOMs were never really a problem for me in v3. I experienced it maybe twice. So, a non-issue.

For wx I'm using AS2016. On their page it says I can use the same serial for ASP4, so that's not among the upgrade costs.

Right now I'm more in favor of staying with v3.

The difference between 4.5 and 5.0 is 11%. So instead of 25fps you would get 28. That isn't much of a return for the money you would spend. Your system is good enough to benefit from a 1080 or 1080i especially if you want to run at UHD. You don't say what res which is really important.

RAM is easily upgraded and has minimal impact on fps. 16Gb is fine. I agree with you. Save you money until the benefits are greater especially as VAS is not an issue.

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26 minutes ago, ckyliu said:

@Ray Proudfoot You don't need to buy a weather engine, the free FSXWX works fine with my P3Dv4 and doesn't have a myriad of options you need to go through. Also doesn't upset any of my payware aircraft's autopilots.

The default wx engine may be adequate but Hi-Fi AS16 brings so much more with textures changing on-the-fly.

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6 minutes ago, 0Artur0 said:

Oh, man, I'm even more confused that I was before. Now, I'm seriously considering switching 🙂 Oh, my...

When in doubt, do nothing. Think things through logically and you will arrive at the right decision especially if you take the advice of knowledgeable people here.

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6 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

The difference between 4.5 and 5.0 is 11%. So instead of 25fps you would get 28. That isn't much of a return for the money you would spend. Your system is good enough to benefit from a 1080 or 1080i especially if you want to run at UHD. You don't say what res which is really important.

RAM is easily upgraded and has minimal impact on fps. 16Gb is fine. I agree with you. Save you money until the benefits are greater especially as VAS is not an issue.

I almost bought 1080Ti last year but than I started thinking that it was about time that nvidia releases new series. Well, we're still waiting for that to happen.

1 minute ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

When in doubt, do nothing. Think things through logically and you will arrive at the right decision especially if you take the advice of knowledgeable people here.

Thanks. I went for a coffee and now again I think I'll probably stay with v3 🙂 As I said, still confused but all the thoughts from people here will help me greatly at the end.

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25 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

The default wx engine may be adequate but Hi-Fi AS16 brings so much more with textures changing on-the-fly.

FSXWX is not the default weather engine, it's a free addon providing a nice real world weather depction. ASP4 only does cloud texture changes on the fly if you also purchase ASCA. My point is that transitioning to 64 bit doesn't have to be expensive in all areas.

@0Artur0 I don't think you'd see much improvement for the money it would cost to port your products across, so you may as well sit and wait for v5 if you're not bothered about v4 exclusive releases. Spend the money on upgrading to a GTX980Ti, GTX1080 or similar.

Most area scenery has already been ported free of charge though, and airports that have been updated have generally been free too whilst v3 versions will generally work you could get issues with legacy code and you'll be missing dynamic lighting. Where the costs set in are some utilities (I don't really use any so don't know the costs), I believe PMDG and A2A cover V3 and V4 in the same licence? You'd also lose most 32 bit aircraft addons except those that purely use XML gauges.

Edited by ckyliu

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Waiting for V5 may be the right choice, but I am running v4 nicely with a 4790k. I recently upgraded to a 1080ti and a 32" 4k monitor. The increased resolution has allowed me to drop AA, so I saw a significant performance increase.

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5 minutes ago, ckyliu said:

FSXWX is not the default weather engine, it's a free addon providing a nice real world weather depction. ASP4 only does cloud texture changes on the fly if you also purchase ASCA. My point is that transitioning to 64 bit doesn't have to be expensive in all areas.

Understood but Hi-Fi generally offer discounts for those who have bought previous versions. I haven't paid full price for several versions. They're very good in that respect.

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1 minute ago, duckbilled said:

Waiting for V5 may be the right choice, but I am running v4 nicely with a 4790k. I recently upgraded to a 1080ti and a 32" 4k monitor. The increased resolution has allowed me to drop AA, so I saw a significant performance increase.

There a huge difference between 970 and 1080Ti 😉

I will be buying new computer next year and will be switching to v5 when it comes out, there's no question about that.

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Just now, Ray Proudfoot said:

@0Artur0, you still haven't said what resolution you're running. That is just as important these days as CPU and GPU.

Oh, I'm still on 1920x1080.

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9 minutes ago, ckyliu said:

IMost area scenery has already been ported free of charge though, and most airports have been free too although many haven't been updated ad whilst they may work you could get issues with legacy code and you'll be missing dynamic lighting.Where the costs set in are some utilities (I don't really use any so don't know the costs) and obviously the major expense of repurchasing PMDG and A2A products. You'd also lose most 32 bit aircraft addons except those that purely use XML gauges.

I thought PMDG and A2A are free upgrades to 64bit?!

 

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2 minutes ago, 0Artur0 said:

Oh, I'm still on 1920x1080.

Right. If you're thinking of UHD your current graphics card won't cut it but a 1080 or better will. Just for info.

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